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Third round of polio vaccination drive ends in Kiambu

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has concluded the third round of a five-day polio vaccination campaign in Kiambu County.

The third round of the immunisation campaign, which began on Saturday, November 11th, and ended on Wednesday, November 15th, targeted 10,000 children under the age of five in a bid to reach the Ministry’s target of 1.8 million children under the age of five countrywide.

The Polio Vaccination Campaign was initiated after the Kenya Medical and Research Institute revealed in June that six poliovirus cases had been detected among several children at Hagadera Refugee Camp in Garissa County, with Kiambu County being among ten counties projected to be at high risk of polio infection rates.

Speaking in Ruiru during a review meeting that hailed the end of the campaign, County Director of Public Health and Sanitation Teresiah Njoroge said that they were now in the process of mapping the accomplishments of the 3rd round of the campaign.

“We have come together to exchange notes on the challenges as well as the successes of the campaign so that we can establish how the former can be overrun to make sure no child in Kiambu County is left out in the united effort to eliminate the threat of polio and to ensure the well-being of children in Kenya.”

Together, we’re not just eradicating polio; we’re building bridges with all the key stakeholders to ensure a healthier, polio-free future for all. I urge all parents and guardians who have missed out on this final round to visit their nearest government health centres so the vaccine can be administered to their children at no extra cost.

“Together, we are not just eradicating polio; we are building bridges with all key stakeholders to ensure a healthier, polio-free future for all. Let’s keep the momentum going,” said Njoroge.

Kiambu is among ten counties that are at high risk of polio. Other counties are Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kitui, Tana River, Garissa, Lamu, Wajir, and Mandera. It is also among the counties where the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with county governments and partners, successfully undertook round one of the polio campaigns in August this year and round two in October, which also targeted three other counties, namely Kajiado, Garissa, and Nairobi.

Round one of the campaign saw a total of 1,960,748 children under the age of five vaccinated out of a target of 1,879,402 children, while the second round of the campaign managed to reach 23,000 children under the age of five.

Njoroge stated that the exercise was mostly carried out at home as most children were on break from school with the onset of the long holidays.

“We want to echo that the vaccine is safe and urge parents to ensure that their children receive the required dosage. The outbreaks we have faced have been a result of children who missed out on the vaccine during their immunisation period. Today, as we embark on the final day of the campaign, there is a collective sense of achievement and anticipation. The journey may conclude, but the impact of safeguarding future generations from polio will resonate long after the end of the campaign,” she added.

By Hellen Lunalo

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